Gay marriage is almost legit in Virginia! Let’s very briefly look at the past, present, and the future . . .
Va. Const. Art. I, § 15-A states: “That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”
Va. Code § 20-45.2 states: “A marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable.”
Va. Code § 20-45.3 state: “A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.”
And now, according to U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen, those laws are unconstitutional: “The Court finds Va. Const. Art. I, § 15-A, Va. Code §§ 20-45.2, 20-45.3, and any other Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia’s recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional.” Bostic v. Rainey, Civil No. 2:13 cv 395 (E.D. Norfolk 2014). But, for what it’s worth, that decision is stayed while it is on appeal to an appellate court, meaning that no one should rely upon this ruling until future courts weigh in. Id.